Some people are fans of Haas. But many more people are NOT fans of Haas. This 2019 Oppositelock team preview is for those in the latter group. This is also a poor knockoff of Drew Magary’s infamous and inflammatory yearly NFL previews. Read all the previews so far here.
Your Team: Rich Energy Haas F1 Team
Your 2018 results: 93 points, fifth in the championship. Up from the previous consecutive 8th places. They scored points in 13 of the 21 rounds. Yet they definitely had the 4th best car on the grid, they just shot themselves in the dick too many times. Let’s look how the season started:
Your Car: VF-19
Rich Energy presents: Black Gold
Your Team Principal: Guenther Steiner got his start in racing with the Mazda WRC team and eventually wound up as M-Sport’s director of engineering in 2000 and 2001 before getting drafted by Niki Lauda to the Jaguar F1 team. Gunner has been running the F1 team owned by Gene Haas since its inception in 2014. Backing up Stunther is the chassis builder Dalara and suspension and drivetrain supplier Ferrari, but don’t call them a customer team.
Your Drivers: Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen
Romaine Lettuce has been with Hass from their first season in 2016. Before that he was crashing Renaults in 2009, and then made it back to the grid to crash Renaults under the Lotus nameplate in 2012. His most famous crash happened at Spa in 2012:
This earned him the first one race suspension since Michael Schumacher in 1994. Unlike Schumacher, Romain has never won an F1 race.
Kevin Magnussen has also never won an F1 race, but he has the reputation as being one of the most difficult drivers to pass. His F1 career started off as being the promising rookie for McLaren scoring a 2nd place in his debut race. However he lost his seat at the end of the season for a Mr. Fernando Alonso. After spending a year as a sim racer, he found a seat for the recently once again renamed Renault F1 team, replacing Pastor Maldonado due to PDVSA no longer having money. K-Mags then came to his current role at Haas in 2017.
What’s new that sucks: Gene Haas, who once went to prison for tax evasion, has found a title sponsor in Rich Energy. Rich Energy is supposedly a premium energy drink maker that is headed by wealthy British goober, Gimli. I don’t think that anyone has ever drank a can of Rich Energy, but this new money tried to buy Force India last year and was denied due to finances. Seems legit!
What’s always sucked: Between the fact that this “US” team is based in the cursed Manor/Marussia F1 facility in Banbury, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, the chassis, drive-train and suspension come from Italy, they seem to run into repeated rookie mistakes in every season.
What might not suck: If Romain keeps his nose clean and Rich Energy doesn’t turn out to be Ponzi scheme, Haas should be quite competitive in the midfield.
Next up: Renault